Last summer saw the team improve on their win-loss record from the previous season, with six wins from 14 matches, with a few narrow losses just seeing the ‘Gades miss out on an inaugural finals berth.
With new coach Tim Coyle at the helm and New Zealand international Amy Satterthwaite joining the club and taking over the reigns as captain, WBBL|03 is primed to be another big season.
With the WBBL squad looking for an inaugural finals berth, Tim Coyle has set the bar high for the team.
“We’ve set a pretty clear goal and that is to certainly make finals as it is something that the team hasn’t done before,” Coyle said.
“I think that’s well in our grasp with the team we’ve got together and that’s definitely the goal.”
New signing Chamari Atapattu is certain to provide some X-Factor at the top of the order, having smashed 178 from 143 balls against Australia in the World Cup in England, right in front of the eyes of Australian Women’s fielding coach Coyle.
“Chamari brings that X-Factor that we think we need at the top of the order, in saying that she can bat in the middle order and is versatile. She can also bring some off spin into the team as well,” Coyle said.
“She’s been trying to get a chance in the WBBL over the last two seasons and I saw her score a big hundred against Australia in England in the World Cup and that certainly got me over the line thinking that she would be suitable for the Women’s Big Bash.”
New Zealand internationals Amy Satterthwaite and Lea Tahuhu will be vital players if the Renegades are to reach their goal.
Satterthwaite scored 323 runs, including two 50s for the Hobart Hurricanes, as well as claiming 15 wickets including a hat trick in WBBL|02 – while Tahuhu was an important figure with the new ball for the Renegades claiming nine wickets at an economy rate of 5.76 runs per over.
Coyle expects both players to be able to lead from the front this season.
“I think Amy will bring a cool and calm head as our captain, she’s a very good thinker of the game and very good player in her own right,” he said.
“She can play in a number of different circumstances, she can score quickly, she can play as an anchor. Certainly she’ll be very good strategist as a captain, she’ll work her bowlers well and understands fields.
“I think we’ve got an excellent leader in Amy and she’s very determined to do well so she’ll be excellent.
“Lea is one of the most experienced fast bowlers at the top level in the world and we’re very fortunate to have her in our ranks. She has a great head around the one day and T20 cricket having played so much, she’s a leader in her own rights.
“She’ll lead our bowling attack and she’s also good with the young bowlers. Lea has X-Factor with the new ball and finishing, and she can bowl through the middle with good change ups. We’ve got some firepower there.”
The rise of Molly Strano continues to dominate headlines since she made her Australian Women’s team debut in February, following on from the second season of the Women’s Big Bash League, where she claimed a team-high 21 wickets at an average of just 14.80, beating her own record of 18 wickets from WBBL|01.
As the all-time leading wicket taker for the Renegades, Coyle is hoping for another fine summer from the off-spinner.
“We’ve elevated Molly to a leadership role and we think that she’s ready for that, she has real energy around the ground which we love and she brings a lot around the squad. She has a great feel as to what it is to be a team player which is really important,” Coyle explains.
“Her bowling will be very important for us, whether to close the innings or up top, she does those things very well. If she gets anywhere near what she did last year, then we’ll certainly be happy.”
Since last season, all-rounders Sophie Molineux and Maitlan Brown headlined a group of eight players in Cricket Australia’s inaugural Women’s National Performance Squad.
Both players had their fair share of strong performances in red last summer and will again be looking to push their case to the National Selectors with a strong WBBL|03.
“I think both players have got the look of Australian players about them,” Coyle suggests.
“The more good performances they have at this level, the more likely they are to be noticed. Sophie’s been around that second tier of Australian group now for a while, so I believe she wouldn’t be too far off – but obviously spots have to open up.
“Maitlan is now over injury after a delayed start to the season. She’s handy with the ball, has good control with her swing and slower balls, it’s a good package. She’s also a good lower order hitter and should do well for us this season.”
Victorian’s Emma Inglis and Jess Duffin have crossed from the Melbourne Stars this summer and will add some experience to the Renegades top order.
ACT pair Hayley Jensen and Claire Koski, as well as Victorian young guns Jenny Taffs and Rhiann O’Donnell round out the new signings for this season, with Coyle believing that all 15 squad members are capable to contributing throughout the season when required.
“Every player that we’ve brought onto our list is capable of contributing to what we do as a team,” he said.
“That was the goal at the start, to have 15 players that we know we can inject into the side at any one time and get a result.”
The Renegades will face the Sydney Thunder at North Sydney Oval in the opening match of the season live on Network Ten this Saturday from 1.45pm.
Chamari Atapattu, Kris Britt, Maitlan Brown, Jess Duffin, Emma Inglis (WK), Hayley Jensen, Claire Koski, Sophie Molineux, Rhiann O’Donnell, Amy Sattherthwaite ©, Molly Strano (VC), Jenny Taffs, Lea Tahuhu, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
In:Chamari Atapattu, Jess Duffin, Emma Inglis, Hayley Jensen, Claire Koski, Rhiann O’Donnell, Amy Satterthwaite, Jenny Taffs
Out:Rachel Priest, Nicole Goodwin, Grace Harris, Kirsty Lamb, Natalie Plane, Annabel Sutherland, Danni Wyatt, Amy Yates
WBBL|03 fixture (All times local)
December 9, 1.45pm v Thunder at North Sydney Oval – Live on Channel 10
December 16, 2.00pm v Strikers at Gliderol Stadium, Glenelg
December 17, 12.30pm v Strikers at Gliderol Stadium, Glenelg
December 22, 2.00pm v Heat at Camberwell Sports Ground
December 23, 2.30pm v Heat at Etihad Stadium
January 2, 2.00pm v Sixers at Camberwell Sports Ground
January 3, 2.20pm v Sixers at GMHBA Stadium, Geelong
January 6, 2.20pm v Stars at MCG
January 14, 10.00am v Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena
January 15, 2.50pm v Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena
January 20, 1.45pm v Stars at MCG - Live on Channel 10
January 24, 2.50pm v Thunder at Manuka Oval, Canberra
January 27, 2.00pm v Scorchers at Camberwell Sports Ground
January 28, 2.00pm v Scorchers at Camberwell Sports Ground